JACK IS BACK – In Court, That Is

by Diane Rufino, January 29, 2023

Why do so many liberals hate religion? Why are Christian and other religious individuals so often discriminated against?  Why are churches and religious organizations so frequently targeted, discriminated against, and silenced? Why are there so many lawsuits by individuals and church/Christian organizations alleging discrimination under the First Amendment?

God-loving citizens and judges need to ask those oppressing Christian conservatives WHY they hate such individuals and organizations so much. Get them on record for their answers. Also, these opponents need to be asked this question: “Do You Believe that Jesus Christ was a Racist?  A Homophobe?  A Xenophobe?”

Again, get them on the record for their answers.

Remember the case of Jack Phillips, the Colorado cake artist targeted by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (based on a complaint submitted by a same-sex male couple who claimed that Phillips declined to “design” them a custom cake to celebrate their same-sex marriage). Phillips defended that while he offered the couple any of the fine cakes his shop makes, he couldn’t in good conscience “design” a cake for them; he was bound by his firmly-held religious beliefs. He was threatened with fines so heavy that his cakeshop, the Masterpiece Cakeshop, would surely go out of business. The conservative legal assistance group, Alliance Defending Freedom, offered to take up his case, which eventually landed before the Supreme Court in December 2017. The case was Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which had hundreds of people holding signs outside the Court building holding signs “Justice for Jack” and “We Stand With Jack.”

For Jack, to design a cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding would be the same as expressing his personal support of such a marriage.

On June 4, 2018, the Supreme Court handed down its opinion – in favor of Jack!  While the Court did not address the ultimate issue, which was whether a cake “artist” (who enjoys, as the Court held, the right of speech and expression) has the right, when engaged in the marketplace, to the benefit of the First Amendment’s protection, it found on the issue raised by Anthony Kennedy which was that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, while allowing several exemptions to the law to other vendors, went after Phillips with particular zeal and passion. They obviously harbored animus in their dogged harassment and legal pursuit of him. Seven of the nine justices ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had violated Phillips’ right to freely exercise his religion.

Well, they obviously won’t leave him alone and probably never will, until he and his cakeshop are maligned and destroyed.

The same day that Phillips won his case on June 4, a transgender activist lawyer, who goes by the name Autumn Scardina, called his cakeshop to order a custom-made cake, pink on the outside and blue on the inside, to celebrate his “gender transition” from male to female. Again, in line with his religious beliefs, he declined to “design” such a cake. The transgender lawyer quickly filed a complaint against Jack with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. That case, Masterpiece II, was dropped by the Commission after Jack countersued the Commission for harassing him.

But that deranged hate-filled activist attorney even promised to sue Jack again if the case is dismissed for any reason. Where is this individual’s sense of tolerance? The LGBTQ community demands equality and tolerance and yet where is the tolerance for Jack Phillips and his religion?

Well, shortly after that, the same transgender lawyer filed a civil lawsuit against Phillips, which Jack lost in March 2021. That would be the Masterpiece III case. On October 5, 2022, Phillips’ lawyers argued before the Colorado Court of Appeals, asking the court to uphold Jack’s First Amendment right not to create artistic messages that he disagrees with. In a statement by ADF senior counsel, Jake Warner said: “Activists and state laws have threatened artists like Jack and graphic artist Lorie Smith because they can’t express messages on marriage and gender that violate their core beliefs. In this case, an activist attorney demanded that Jack create expressive cakes to test him and ‘correct the errors’ of his thinking.”

Last week, the Colorado Court of Appeals found against Jack Phillips. Amazingly, it did not have the legal wisdom to recognize what the Supreme Court said in its Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission 2018 case.

If it seems like Jack Phillips has been in court for a decade and it’s because he has, in fact, been in court for a decade, since 2012. All this time, he’s sought to defend his right to use his artistic talents in a manner consistent with his core beliefs. Jack is fighting for his rights and at the same time, he is fighting for our rights.

Why do they hate Phillips so much – so much so that they are determined to run him out of business?

We should thank Alliance Defending Freedom for taking up his cases and representing him pro bono.

About forloveofgodandcountry

I'm originally from New Jersey where I spent most of my life. I now live in North Carolina with my husband and 4 children. I'm an attorney
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